Disaster Response Status Boards

The Client

  • Jetty Communications Solutions’ flagship product is called Jetty. During an oil spill, hurricane, train derailment, etc., Jetty is used to coordinate the public response to a disaster. It handles incoming inquiries from the web, emails, phone calls, and text messages, and provides web updates and bulk email updates to subscribers.
  • One of Jetty’s main clients, the U.S. Army, is a heavy user of Jetty for daily news as well as disaster response. They were the main driver for the status board upgrade project, with input from a couple of major oil company clients.

The Problem

  • Status Boards are used to keep an official internal record of dialog concerning an incident.
  • The problem was, each “board” was being edited by multiple people, and over time became unusably long – yards and yards of text and images that were extremely difficult to digest. It was impossible to tell who edited the board last, and to control the edits.
  • The need was this: make the status boards usable and manageable.

The Solution

After puzzling over this, I came up with a very straightforward solution with a small and simple addition to the data structure. This is a perfect example of how I consider data structure an integral and even central part of UX design.



In the UI, this became the very simple addition of a dropdown chooser, accompanied by a slight change in nomenclature.


Working closely with the lead developer, we broke up the final design into Scrum-friendly sprint-sized phases, each of which were planned as meaningful production releases.


Each phase was entered into Jira with detailed behavior descriptions and acceptance criteria.


Phase 1 Mockups

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